Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed by a precision drone strike over the weekend as he stood on his balcony in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was often rumored to be dead, but always left hints that he was still alive. Not this time. He’s been permanently “neutralized.” One of the masterminds of the 9/11 attacks is gone. But the organization he led after the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011 may not be.
There are some issues with the killing of Zawahiri, the main one being that he was living in Taliban-controlled Kabul. Analysts have long warned that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan might give rise to a terrorist “safe-haven” in the country. The knowledge that Zawahiri was living there lends strong credence to that idea. Although Biden contended that Al-Qaeda was dead, he was wrong. Now that Zawahiri is gone, the next batch of terrorists may be even more brutal, according to Army Special Operations veteran Brett Velicovich.
I think if anyone replaces him, they’ll be a bit more aggressive in their operations, sort of try and gather a bit more credibility with the younger generation of terrorists that exist.
Brett Velicovich, author of Drone Warrior
The Taliban allowed Zawahiri to be in Kabul, which violated the Doha agreement (not that the Taiban ever bothered to adhere to that agreement in the first place).
What unnerves me is that Al Zawahri felt comfortable enough being out in the open in the Kabul area after the Taliban takeover. So much for the Taliban rejecting al Qaeda. This is proof positive that Afghanistan has once again become a safe haven for international terrorists.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Retired General Jack Keane told Fox that the house Zawahiri was in at the time of the strike belonged to an aide to a “senior Taliban official.” It likely signals that the two organizations are now working together. Zawahiri had recently called for more attacks on the United States.
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The “over the horizon” drone strike was the first of its kind in Afghanistan since the US withdrawal, which left $billions in military equipment behind, thousands of enemy prisoners freed, 13 American service members dead, 18 US service members wounded, and numerous civilians killed or wounded. ‘Disaster’ hardly covers it.
Biden already has taken credit for the death of Zawahiri, likely in an attempt to shore up his flagging poll numbers. But keep in mind that terrorists flourish where other terrorists are in charge. Afghanistan is such a place.
- Al-Qaeda Chief Warns of Major 9/11 Attacks on US
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- Al-Qaeda Magazine Notifies Jihadists to Use Protests as Cover to Help Incite Riots
- Trump’s first drone strike kills three al-Qaeda terrorists
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